TB confirmed as cause of woman’s death in Colorado Springs | SummitDaily.com

TB confirmed as cause of woman’s death in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS – Tuberculosis caused the death of a woman in a Colorado Springs hospital, health officials said Monday, but they said it was unlikely she had the multidrug-resistant strain.Mark Salley of the state health department said tests were planned to confirm what form of the disease she had. Multidrug-resistant TB is more difficult to treat.The woman, whose name was not released, died Friday, the day she arrived at the emergency room of Memorial Hospital.Although hospital officials did not know what disease she had, she was put in an isolation room and staff and family members wore protective gear as a precaution.It was not clear when authorities confirmed the woman had tuberculosis, but the announcement was made Monday, ahead of a scheduled news conference.Health officials described the victim as an international student who had attended Colorado State University-Pueblo but had been staying in Colorado Springs. No other information was immediately released.An investigation was under way to identify and contact anyone who might be at risk of contracting TB from exposure to the woman, Salley said.Andrew Speaker, an Atlanta lawyer whose case of extensive drug-resistant tuberculosis attracted national attention, is being treated at National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver.Tuberculosis kills 1.6 million people around the world every year; in 2004, it killed 662 people in the U.S.In 2006, there were 13,767 cases of TB reported in the U.S., the lowest ever, according to the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association. But 20 states reported an increase in cases over 2005, and the District of Columbia had the highest rate – 12.6 cases per 100,000 people.

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